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Global Young Ambassadors Arena

In the heart of a bustling city, under the grand marquee of the Global Young Ambassadors’ Arena, the anticipation for the Military Children 2024 World Expo on April 27, 2024, is palpable. This event is not just a gathering; it’s a celebration of the future, a showcase of the unique lives of children who have grown up in the shadow of military service, foreign diplomacy, and international ventures.

These children, often referred to as ‘military brats,’ are the embodiment of adaptability and resilience. They’ve turned the challenges of constant relocation and cultural assimilation into opportunities for growth, becoming fluent in the universal language of empathy and understanding. They are friends to the third culture kids, the foreign service brats, the children of humanitarian aid workers, missionary kids, and those from international business and borderland communities. Together, they form a community that exemplifies connectivity and leadership.

The Expo on April 27 will be a testament to their shared experiences and a celebration of their collective identity. It’s a place where stories of courage and adaptation are shared, where every handshake and smile is a testament to their shared journey.

 

These children, our Global Young Ambassadors, are the prototype citizens of the future. Their lives are a narrative of movement, of being rooted not in a place, but in the hearts of their ever-expanding global family.

As we honor them, we’re not just celebrating their past; we’re ushering in a new era of global citizenship. An era where community, culture, connectivity, and leadership are not just ideals, but lived realities. The Military Children World Expo is a beacon, a promise that the future is in capable hands—hands that have played in the sands of many lands, hands that are joined across continents, hands that will shape our world.

As the day dawns on April 27, 2024, the Global Young Ambassadors’ Arena will stand as a testament to the journey of these remarkable children. It will be a day of recognition, where the stories of military brats and their peers from around the world are celebrated for their strength, diversity, and the cultural richness they bring to our global community.

The Expo will showcase the unity and leadership of these young individuals who, despite not being in their passport homeland, have created a community that is a prototype for the citizens of the future. They are the living bridge between cultures, the young envoys of peace and friendship, and the bearers of hope for a world that is more connected than ever before.

Through cultural exhibitions, exhibitors, family friendly activities, interactive workshops, and powerful speeches, the Military Children 2024 World Expo will demonstrate how these young ambassadors are shaping a new narrative for the next generation. It’s a narrative that speaks of community, culture, connectivity, and leadership—a narrative where every child is a global citizen, ready to take on the world with open hearts and minds.

On this special day, we will not only honor their past but also ignite their future, empowering them to continue building the bridges of understanding that our world so desperately needs. The Military Children 2024 World Expo is not just an event; it’s a movement, a call to action for all of us to embrace the values that these children live by every day.

So let us come together on April 27, 2024, under the grand marquee of the Global Young Ambassadors’ Arena, to celebrate these young heroes. Let us honor their legacy, support their dreams, and stand with them as they show us the way to a brighter, more inclusive future.


Standing as a beacon of unity and hope, a place where the stories and laughter of military children and their international peers will resonate with the promise of a connected future. The epitome of adaptability and resilience. They are the children who have found strength in diversity, the young leaders who have embraced the world as their community.

As the event unfolds, each conversation, each story, and each shared experience will reinforce the narrative of these future leaders. They are the prototype citizens of tomorrow, ready to carry the torch of change and unity. 
 

Foreign Service Kids (Adult)

Foreign Service Kids

FSK

Missionary Kids (Adult)

Missionary Kids

MK

Third Culture Kids (Young Adult)

Third Culture Kids

TCK

International Business Kids (Young Adult)

International Business Kids

IBK

THE THIRD CULTURE KIDS

The Military Children (BRATS)

Invited VIP Guest

The Military Children 2024 World Expo – VIP Invited Attendees

(The term applies to both adults and children, as the term children refers to the individual's formative or developmental years. However, for clarification, sometimes the term Child, Children, Kid is referencing both age groups.)

Third culture kids (TCK) or third culture individuals (TCI) are people who were raised in a culture other than their parents' or the culture of their country of nationality, and also live in a different environment during a significant part of their child development years. They typically are exposed to a greater volume and variety of cultural influences than those who grow up in one particular cultural setting. The term applies to both adults and children, as the term kid refers to the individual's formative or developmental years. However, for clarification, sometimes the term adult third culture kid (ATCK) is used.

TCKs move between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity. The first culture of such individuals refers to the culture of the country from which the parents originated, the second culture refers to the culture in which the family currently resides, and the third culture refers to the distinct cultural ties among all third culture individuals that share no connection to the first two cultures.

 

In the early 21st century, the number of bilingual children in the world was about the same as the number of monolingual children. TCKs are often exposed to a second (or third, fourth, etc.) language while living in their host culture, being physically exposed to the environment where the native language is used in practical aspects of life. "TCKs learn some languages in schools abroad and some in their homes or in the marketplaces of a foreign land. Some pick up languages from the nannies in the home or from playmates in the neighborhood.” This language immersion is why TCKs are often bilingual, and sometimes even multilingual. Would you like to know more about our invited guest TCKs? Read More Here

FOREIGN SERVICE BRATS

In the United States, a Foreign Service brat (also referred to as diplobrat or FSB) is a person whose parent(s) served full-time in a Foreign Service posting abroad during that person's childhood. The term brat is often thought of as derogatory; however, for some who have experienced this background, the term has a neutral feel and is sometimes taken as a sign of pride. A Foreign Service brat may spend the majority of their childhood outside their parents' home country.

 

The children of Foreign Service Officers–those working in embassies and consulates–are another subset of TCKs.  They are sometimes referred to as Foreign Service BRATs. Whatever you call them, they share the Third Culture Kid experience with the BRATs, MKs, and business kids.

The frequency of their moves lies between that of the military and missionaries.  Normally, the diplomatic corps is reposted every two to four years.  Two-year postings characterize the start of a diplomat’s career.  As seniority is earned, postings lengthen.

Foreign Service dependent children often live inside what is called “the Expat Bubble.”  While they may explore and interact with the local culture of a posting, most diplobrats are often more isolated from it as a means of protecting them from more dangerous situations and from being used as a pawn in international relations.

Like similar groups, such as military brats, missionary kids, or other third culture kids, Foreign Service brats are faced with frequent moves, and possibly the absence of a parent. Some Foreign Service brats will grow up to take on roles similar to their parents, while the majority will pursue a private sector career. Many of these children feel very different from their peers if they are eventually "repatriated".

MISSIONARY KIDS

Missionary’s kids (or MKs) are the children of missionary parents, and thus born or raised abroad (that is, on the "mission-field"). They form a subset of third culture kids (TCKs). The term is more specifically applied when these children return to their "home" or passport country (the country of their citizenship), and often experience various difficulties identifying with fellow citizens and integrating "back" into their "home" culture. The resulting feeling is described as "reverse culture shock".

There is some confusion between the terms MK and TCK. According to the definition developed by Ruth Hill Useem, TCKs are people who have spent a significant part of their developmental years outside their parents' culture. TCK is a broad term that encompasses all children who have grown up abroad (i.e. military kids, diplomats' kids, immigrants). Missionary kids are just one of the many categories of kids who qualify as TCKs. Therefore, while all MKs are TCKs, not all TCKs are MKs.

In the past MKs usually were thought of only as American or European, but there is as of 2014 a growing number of MKs from other countries, especially Protestant Christian. MKs from South Korea and from Latin America. Generally, this term applies to Protestant Christians; however, it can be applied to any denomination of a religion.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS KIDS

This group’s parents usually work for multinational corporations, although some decide to move cross-culturally and open businesses on their own.  They move around the world on a regular basis as their parents’ expertise is needed in a different office of the corporation.  Often, these “Biz Kids”, or BKs, live in a community with other expatriates, attend international schools, and don’t develop deep relationships outside of their expat circles.

International Business Kids, like other TCKs, are expected to return to their parents’ country of origin, frequently referred to as the home country.  Unlike other TCKs, this group receives very little intentional attention and support from those who have sent them abroad when they return.  The well-known resources in the other TCK communities rarely cross over to this group.  While they may have more financial resources at their disposal, they don’t have the emotional and practical support others have. Military Children (BRATS) connecting the dots at MCWE 2024.

Domestic TCKs

The four groups covered above are the main groups that comprise traditional TCKs.  There are others who live in the space between cultures.  One of the larger groups of these interstitial dwellers are the Domestic TCKs.  These kids never need to use their passports to cross cultures.  They move from distinct cultural group to distinct cultural group within the borders of their own nation.

 

Many TCKs from India fall within this category because it is a common occurrence there.  If you think of every state within the nation of India as a separate country, it is easier to understand this concept. Due to significant differences in food, language, traditions, and religions within India, moving across the country mirrors moving internationally.  Making the connection and connecting the dots at MCWE 2024.

Third Culture Kids

Educational TCKs

The idea of Educational TCKs as another branch on the TCK family tree is evident.  There are two distinct groups referred to by the same name.  The first are those whose parents serve in international educational institutions.  It can be argued that they fall traditionally in one of the other categories of TCKs with at least one parent who is a missionary, foreign service officer, or active military personnel.  However, there seems to be a growing body of research distinguishing these TCKs as a distinct group; they are distinct enough from the other groups that they warrant attention as their own branch on the TCK family tree and therefore MCWE 2024 invited VIP Guests.

Another group who are confused with TCKs are those kids straddling different worlds because of their education.  They are from the local culture but attend the international school in their city.  Dan Egeler, former president of the Association of Christian Schools International often referred to the schools this group attends as “TCK factories.” These students have also been called Educational TCKs.

Although they fit best in the space between these cultures–the interstitial space of the Third Culture–they are not TCKs.  Generally, they lack the high mobility associated with their parent’s choice of job or education that is a hallmark of the other branches of the TCK tree.  But they can relate to many other aspects of the Third Culture.  

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